Houssem Aouar is in trouble at AS Roma


By: Manu Tournoux

Last summer, several players wanted to take literally the adage which says that “All roads lead to Rome”. Not to go to the Holy See of the Vatican, a favorite destination for pilgrims, but to defend the giallorosso jersey of AS Roma. In this low-cost transfer window between the Parisians Sanches (paying loan, €1 million) and Paredes (€2.5 million), the Blue Lukaku (paying loan, €5.8 million) or even the ex-Auxerrois Evan Ndicka ( free), we find Houssem Aouar, who decided to leave Olympique Lyonnais at the end of his contract to join the Louve club by signing a 5-season lease. The native of Lyon had a very good start to his transalpine adventure, becoming an important pawn of José Mourinho, who took his time with the 25-year-old to let him adapt to Calcio. A good form in Italy which he continued in the selection during his first capes with the Greens. However, this dynamic did not continue into November…

“I see my future in Rome…”

Indeed, the neo-international with 5 selections (2 goals) is struggling to string together starts with the current fourth in Serie A, with only three appearances in the Speical One starting lineup since the end of October, i.e. 178 minutes played in total in a month and a half in the club. An insufficient assessment for the ex-Gone, who also explained – and in Italian, proof of his desire to adapt to a new way of life – this drop in performance at a press conference before receiving Sheriff Tiraspol for the 6th and final day of the Europa League, in group G where AS Roma hopes to take first place. “It’s the first time I’ve been away from home, far from Lyon. That’s why it’s a little difficult to acclimatize to a new city and a new team. (…) I started the season well, but now it’s a little more difficult for me. In Prague and Geneva, I played two matches badly. I know, I say it with humility. Now I have to show the coach that I can play more.”

Despite this complicated little pass on the other side of the Alps, Houssem Aouar, who has already squatted the Roman bench six times without leaving it in this first part of the season (including 5 between November and December), did not hesitate to proclaim his love for the club in the Italian capital, which gave him his first professional experience outside France. “I see my future in Rome, because I am very happy to be here, I am very proud to wear this jersey, continued the Algerian to journalists. I repeat, I started ten or eleven matches and that’s good for the first months. I don’t know the future yet, but I’m very happy to be here, in a great club, in a great team, with good teammates. The coach helps me a lot, I talk to him a lot. I know this is the right project. I’m also very happy because it’s a beautiful city and the fans are incredible. I am convinced that my future will be at Roma.

Between change of environment… and position

After 233 matches played at Olympique Lyonnais between national competitions and European Cups, Fennec also justifies this change in level by the different football practiced in the Boot. “Italian football is stronger than French football. I still have to learn how to play here because it’s different. In France, there is more intensity, the football is more physical, while here it is more tactical and technically better. I hope to become a good player in the Italian Serie A in the future.” This level expected by Giallorossi supporters should be reached thanks to the support of his coach, José Mourinho. “The coach helps me a lot to learn to play with the team, to play different football. I love this. I also like the coach’s winning mentality. I haven’t played much lately, but I hope now I can play for him, for the team and for the fans.”

Finally, another factor somewhat disrupts his consistency within the Lazio team: his positioning on the pitch. But according to the words of the principal concerned, whatever his place in the system of his Lusitanian coach, the most important thing is to defend body and soul the yellow and red jersey of the residents of the Olimpico. “As I have said many times, I am a team player. It doesn’t matter whether I play as a central defender or as a number 10. At Lyon I also played as a playmaker in front of the defense. Position doesn’t matter: for me it’s important to play all the time. I know that up front, as a number 10, as a center half or as a player, I can do good things for my teammates and for the coach. His determination displayed in front of the media and his versatility should convince the Special One to grant him a more important role in his game plan in the second half of the season…

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